Cameron Doherty, Vikes Communications
VICTORIA – Rebounding and execution were the keys as the UVic Vikes women's basketball team defeated the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns by a score of 72 to 61 at the CARSA Performance Gym on January 21.
"We did what we needed to do to win the game and that's what is important," said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. "In our prep for next weekend we know that we need to be better, we committed way too many fouls."
The Vikes out-rebounded the Pronghorns 45-33 in the game, with fifth-year forward Nicole Karstein picking up 16 rebounds by herself.
Between the two teams 48 fouls were committed during the game, and it was the Vikes execution from the charity stripe that led them to victory. UVic went 25 of 37 from the free throw line while Lethbridge could only manage to go 15 of 27.
The game was a back-and-forth affair throughout, with the Vikes consistently ahead of the Pronghorns but unable to pull away in the same fashion as they did the night before.
"I'm really proud of our girls, the way they came back, responded and battled," said Pronghorns head coach Dave Adams. "UVic had a good start to the game, but we didn't go away, showed a lot of resiliency and grit."
Karstein led the Vikes in scoring, with 16 points to go along with her 16 rebounds, Amira Giannattasio followed up her 30 point effort last night with a further 13, while Kristy Gallagher slashed her way through the Pronghorns defence for 12 points.
Zoe Dahl led all scorers in the game with 19 points on seven-for-18 shooting, Teesha Olsen chipped in with 13 points and Kathryn Hankins recorded 12 points and five rebounds.
Both teams struggled to find any consistent scoring in the first quarter, although that was more due to some tight defence than anything else. Jenna Krug had three steals in the first quarter alone and ended the game with five.
"It's too bad she was in some foul trouble because she maybe would have had ten," said Vikes head coach Dani Sinclair. "She's such a great athlete and such a sparkplug for us, it was nice to see her be able to do that."
The difference between the teams in the first was at the foul line. The Vikes went nine-for-11 in the frame to give them the lead heading into the second.
The second half was more of the same as every time it looked like the Vikes might pull away, the Pronghorns reeled them right back in. Leading the charge in the quarter for Lethbridge was Dahl, who put up eleven points in the quarter.
"As we grow as a program, that resiliency and toughness is going to be important, so I was so pleased for it to show up tonight," said Adams.
The third and fourth quarters followed suit, the Vikes would stretch their lead to as many as 15 at times, before a persistent Lethbridge team chipped away to get the game back to a single digit spread.
The Pronghorns return home next weekend to host the UBC Okanagan Heat for a pair of games on the 27 and 28 of January.
The Vikes will stay in the friendly confines of the CARSA Performance Gym next weekend, where they will welcome the Trinity Western Spartans on the 27 and 28 of January.
UVIC: 17-21-21-13: 72
LETH: 10-23-12-16: 61
UVIC: Nicole Karstein (16), Amira Giannattasio (13), Kristy Gallagher (12)
LETH: Zoe Dahl (19), Teesha Olson (13) Kathryn Hankins (12)